Thursday, October 15, 2015

Today's Links

1--Sergie Glazyev "goes nuclear"


1. If the emerging trend of freezing private assets of Russian legal entities and individuals continues, Russia should consider full or a partial moratorium on the servicing of loans and investment from the countries involved in the freezing.


2. The amount of foreign currency assets of the Russian Federation located in the jurisdiction of NATO countries accounts to more than $1.2 trillion, including short-term debt of about $800 billion. Their freeze may be partially offset by retaliation against NATO assets in Russia, which amounts to $1.1 trillion, including over $400 billion long-term. So this threat would be neutralized if Russian monetary authorities organized a timely withdrawal of Russian short-term assets in the US and the EU.


3.  Glazyev is adamant that the Russian Central Bank continues to serve the interests of foreign capital – as in the financial powers in London and New York. He contends that the high interest rates practiced by the Russian Central Bank led Russian oligarchs to borrow more cheaply from the West, making the Russian economy dependent, a debt trap which the West used to slowly squeeze Russia. Then the rigged Western oil and ruble collapse increased the pressure as debt service in ruble cost and interest doubled.


So what Glazyev proposes, essentially, is that Moscow must gain total control of its Central Bank, preventing speculators to move their credit around for non-productive purposes; Moscow should also establish currency controls; and must create a central organization of technological research to replace the loss of Western technology, imitating the US methodology of rolling out from its centralized military research those technologies that can be commercialized for the consumer market....


A less apocalyptic ending may be healthy. So here’s a popular joke in Moscow nowadays, as told by William Engdahl. Putin is back in the Kremlin after his meeting with Obama in New York. He tells an aide he invited Obama for a game of chess. And then he tells it how it works: “It’s like playing with a pigeon. First it knocks over all the pieces, then it shits on the board and finally struts around like it won.”


2--Putin will send in the paratroopers?


Executive Summary
The operation in Syria is dominating the headlines (and is being reported on extensively in other SouthFront features), but one must not lose the sight of other operations in the background. The air bridge between Russia combined with the high level of Ground Forces activity in the Southern Military District suggests that the MOD is preparing contingency plans for deploying a ground force to Syria to exploit the success created by the air campaign. Possible scenarios here include a small Russian ground force (a number of battalion task forces) acting as the glue of a larger coalition of Syrian, Iraqi, and even Iranian forces, against the Islamist rebels.


3--Blast Shakes Ankara Just in Time to Justify NATO Incursion into Syria
By Tony Cartalucci
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/10/blast-shakes-ankara-just-in-time-to.html


Clearly instead of actually fighting ISIS which would most effectively be done by simply cutting their supply lines in Turkey running right out of NATO territory, the US plan involves directly confronting the Russian-backed offensive aimed north – which itself seeks to cut ISIS’ supply lines. In order to do so, the US will require a significant commitment from Turkey who itself has proposed and advocated the US policy of establishing “safe havens” also sometimes referred to as “buffer zones” or “free zones” within seized territory in northern Syria. However, Turkey has lacked the justification and internal political support to do so.


The bombing may have possibly been a means of justifying direct Turkish involvement in Syria under the guise of retaliating against ISIS, all while establishing the long-planned “safe haven” to preserve ISIS’ primary supply corridor, check Russian military operations, and from there, expand toward the division, destruction, and eventual overthrow of Syria as a nation-state.


It should be noted that those targeted by the explosion are in fact linked to Kurdish groups the Turkish government is currently also waging war on, in addition to its proxy war with Syria.
The true culprits behind the bombing in Ankara may never be revealed – because the use of violence is so widespread among many of Turkey’s prominent political factions. However, how the terrorist attack is leveraged, and for whom it ends up benefiting the most will surely reveal the primary suspects. If “ISIS” claims responsibility or is blamed, suspicion will be raised regarding the current government’s direct involvement in the blasts.


4--Pentagon chief threatens to deter Russia influence in Syria


5--Since August 15, 1971, the U.S. has gradually stopped its real economy and moved into a virtual economy. It has become an “empty” economy state. Today’s U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has reached US$18 trillion, but only $5 trillion is from the real economy.


… Many people think that imperialism stopped after the U.K. became weak. Actually, the U.S. has conducted a hidden imperialism through the U.S. dollar and has made other countries its financial colony. ....
When the Asian economy started to prosper, the Americans felt it was time to harvest. Thus, in 1997, after ten years of a weak dollar, the Americans reduced the money supply to Asia and created a strong dollar. Many Asian companies and industries faced an insufficient money supply. The area showed signs of being on the verge of a recession and a financial crisis.


A last straw was needed to break the camel’s back. What was that straw? It was a regional crisis. Should there be a war like the Argentines had {Falklands War in April – June 1982}? Not necessarily. War is not the only way to create a regional crisis.
Thus we saw that a financial investor called “Soros” took his Quantum Fund, as well as over one hundred other hedge funds in the world, and started a wolf attack on Asia’s weakest economy, Thailand. They attacked Thailand’s currency Thai Baht for a week. This created the Baht crisis. Then it spread south to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Then it moved north to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and even Russia. Thus the East Asia financial crisis fully exploded.


The camel fell to the ground. The world’s investors concluded that the Asian investment environment had gone south and withdrew their money. The U.S. Federal Reserve promptly blew the horn and increased the dollar’s interest rate. The capital coming out of Asia flew to the U.S.’s three big markets, creating the second big bull market in the U.


6---As Predicted Dutch Safety Board Produces Inconclusive Report on MH17


7---Turkey warns U.S., Russia against backing Kurdish militia in Syria
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/13/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey-idUSKCN0S71BF20151013


This is a very good article on IS oil production. Of note, the other Syrian rebels are absolutely dependent on IS for diesel. Also there are 6 kilometer lines of trucks waiting to be filled. How could coalition planes not notice this many trucks? As the article says, diesel is IS' winning card. http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/how-isis-uses-oil-to-fuel-its-jihad-1.2392006


What I think is that the evidence so far looks more like the Syrian army & allies are making lot's of fronts hot at the same time while at each front only making relatively small pushs forward on rebel held territory. My best guess is that's the plan. Put here and there a couple of hundred soldiers attacking a small rebel held village on various points of the front. To cope with these local numerical advantages of the Syrian army the rebels will have to send enforcements. And for these rebel enforcements the Russian airforce waits in the sky. When the rebels move on open roads they are most vulnerable and fewest collateral damage happens. When some rebel enforcement arrived the


Syrian army goes into an economic defense mode at that front point, and takes some of the soldiers to make a small push elsewhere and the game begins from a new. The rebels need to send enforcements to that poiont and the Russian airforce waits for them being on the move. And so on and so on.
A main advantage of the Syrian army is that it can move on it's main supply lines without danger, while the rebels cannot. So the strategy would be to use that advatage and tire and bleed the rebels. The resulting picture of such proceeding would be that the advances of the Syrian army seem to be small, but to be on multiple points of the front at the same time, while the rebels seriously bleed in man and material, until the time comes when they are seriously overstretched and have to free territory therefore themselves. I think it would be a clever strategy for the Syrian army


8--Exclusive Vladimir Putin Interview to Vladimir Solovyov


9--Aleppo in turmoil as clashes intensify between ISIS, Syrian rebels and pro-Assad forces
http://aranews.net/2015/10/aleppo-in-turmoil-as-clashes-intensify-between-isis-syrian-rebels-and-pro-assad-forces/


On Wednesday, militants of the Islamic State group (ISIS) launched a major offensive on strongholds of the Syrian rebels north of the city of Aleppo, local activists reported.
This comes as the Syrian army –backed by Iranian militias and Russian warplanes– prepares an assault on rebel-held areas northern Aleppo.


“ISIS militants took control of large areas in the towns of Ahras and Tel Jabin (12 km north of Aleppo) before being pushed back by rebel groups,” local activists reported.
Any advancement by the terror group in northern Aleppo will threaten the supply lines of rebels inside the city, which is divided between them and the pro-regime forces.


Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, media activist Mazen Halabi said that the road which residents use to head to the Turkish border was blocked on Wednesday because of intensified clashes between the rebels and ISIS jihadists. 
“Fierce battles broke out between rebel groups and ISIS in Ahras, Tel Jabin and the surrounding areas in the northern countryside of Aleppo,” said Halabi, pointing out that ISIS insurgents were able to control Ahras, but rebels regained it entirely a few hours later


10---President of Syrian Interim Government: ‘We will run a safe zone free of ISIS, Nusra and PYD’


Ahmed Touma, President of the Interim Government that was formed by the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) to lead the transitional phase in war-torn Syria, said that the safe zone will be an opportunity for his government to prove its role in “making a real change in Syria”.
Turkey and U.S. agreed on establishing a safe zone in northern Syria to ease refugees’ pressure on neighboring countries, hoping that the project would prevail to other war-torn areas in the country where more than 250,000 people have been killed over the past four years. 


In an exclusive interview with ARA News, Touma said that the Interim Government cannot accomplish the aspirations of the suppressed Syrian people without moving from its base in Turkey to the “liberated Syrian territory”.
“We cannot make a real change in Syria if the Interim Government didn’t move to the Syrian territory, supported by a central military force under the umbrella of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and the Defense Ministry of the Interim Government in order to protect areas liberated from the regime,” he said.


“If this is achieved and the Syrian Interim Government was able to enter Syria and operate there, this would represent a great step towards change on several levels. Moving (from Turkey) into Syria would give the Interim Government an opportunity to provide services to the people and to gain more credibility on a local and international level,” Touma said.


11--US vs Russia in Syria


The source of these tensions lies in the diametrically opposed aims being pursued by US imperialism and the Russian regime under the common pretext of battling ISIS and “terrorism.” Washington’s fundamental objective remains the same as when it first joined Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey in instigating the Syrian civil war: regime change. It wants to oust the government of President Bashar al-Assad and impose a puppet government as part of its drive to impose US hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East.


Russia, on the other hand, has intervened with its two-week-old bombing campaign in a bid to prop up Assad and prevent the loss of its sole ally in the Middle East and its one military base outside the former Soviet Union, the naval station at the Syrian Mediterranean port of Tartus.
Underlying the dispute over Russia’s targeting and the refusal of the Pentagon to indicate what targets it does not want hit is the dirty secret that Washington is relying on the al-Nusra Front, Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate, and similar sectarian militias armed and funded by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, as the main proxy forces in the war for regime change.....


At the same time, however, the US has sought to utilize the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria as ground forces to attack ISIS, including in a planned offensive to overrun Raqqa, the northern Syrian city that serves as the de facto capital of the Islamist militia.
The 50 tons of arms and ammunition that the Pentagon airdropped into Syria earlier this week were reportedly intended for the YPG and smaller Arab forces with which it is aligned.


The YPG and its political arm, the Democratic Unity Party (PYD), are aligned with the PKK in Turkey. They have also declared their support for the Russian bombing campaign.


Further complicating the already volatile situation in Syria, the Turkish government Wednesday called in both the US and Russian ambassadors to warn them against providing any support to the Syrian Kurdish forces against ISIS.
“We have a clear position. That position has been conveyed to the United States and the Russian Federation,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised statement. “Turkey cannot accept any cooperation with terrorist organizations which have waged war against it.”


12---Consumers shut down as economy deflates
 http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/14/consumers-shutting-down-as-us-economy-deflates.html


13--Negative attitude of Russians to US policies hits new record high


14--Combat report: Russian jets make 41 sorties against ISIS in Syria, cut off its arms supplies


15--Syria and the Lessons of Iraq and LibyaAs far as the Syrian government is concerned, Efron believes that the Assad government will eventually resign, having failed to prevent a civil war from breaking out in his country, but warns that if the government were to be expelled from the outside, "something demanded by the US and the countries of Western Europe, this would only exacerbate the chaos which already prevails. This is something which should have been learned from the hard lessons of the Iraq War, which removed Saddam Hussein. The same thing was repeated in Libya. Forcibly removing countries' leaders from the outside is counterproductive."...
Ultimately, the journalist suggests that "whether Europe approves of Putin's actions or not is not so important. He has already made his decision and will play his game until he wins. Whether what he is doing right or wrong is not for me to decide. I am sure of only one thing: to combat the human suffering which forces people to flee their countries is the right thing to do. As a former refugee from the Soviet Union, this is an assertion I have a right to make."



16--"in Putin's mind there is no place for failure in the military operation. It's worth remembering that so far, he has not lost a single battle or a single war, either at home or in neighboring countries."

Ultimately, the journalist suggests that "whether Europe approves of Putin's actions or not is not so important. He has already made his decision and will play his game until he wins. Whether what he is doing right or wrong is not for me to decide. I am sure of only one thing: to combat the human suffering which forces people to flee their countries is the right thing to do. As a former refugee from the Soviet Union, this is an assertion I have a right to make."


16--Our prime and most important goal is to liberate Jarablus and to connect Kobani with Afrin  http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article38870559.html




U.S. officials hope the YPG will now turn its attention to Raqqa, the Syrian city that is the defacto capital of the Islamic State, which lies just 60 miles south of Tal Abyad, a border town the YPG seized from the Islamic State in June, with U.S. help.
But PYD spokesman Can said the Kurdish group’s first priority is to link the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, northwest of the Syrian city of Aleppo, with Kobani, the Kurdish enclave northeast of Aleppo. That would mean clearing the Islamic State from villages along 60 miles of the Turkey-Syria border, in particular the border town of Jarablus.


“Our prime and most important goal is to liberate Jarablus and to connect Kobani with Afrin,” Can told McClatchy. Capturing Raqqa, a mostly Arab city, is “not really” a PYD objective, he said. “Not for now,” he said.
But the capture of Jarablus and the linking of Afrin with Kobani is likely to be seen as a threat to Turkey, whose objection to Kurds control that last stretch of border was one reason a Kurdish push against the Islamic State has stalled in recent weeks.
“The Turks are very unhappy,” Can said, though he added that at the end of the day, the outcome in northern Syria is “a Syrian issue, not a Turkish issue.”.....

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article38870559.html#storylink=cpy


In a major boost for forces fighting Islamic State extremists in Syria but likely to stir controversy with NATO ally Turkey, the United States on Monday began airdropping pallets of weapons and ammunition to a Syrian Kurdish militia and allied Arab forces in northern Syria.
“They started dropping the arms in Rojava early this morning,” said Polat Can, the spokesman for the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Kurdish political party whose armed wing, with the help of U.S. bombing, has pushed the Islamic State from as much as 6,800 square miles of northern Syria. Rojava, or “west Kurdistan,” is the name the PYD uses to refer to northern Syria’s Kurdish areas

In a major boost for forces fighting Islamic State extremists in Syria but likely to stir controversy with NATO ally Turkey, the United States on Monday began airdropping pallets of weapons and ammunition to a Syrian Kurdish militia and allied Arab forces in northern Syria.
“They started dropping the arms in Rojava early this morning,” said Polat Can, the spokesman for the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Kurdish political party whose armed wing, with the help of U.S. bombing, has pushed the Islamic State from as much as 6,800 square miles of northern Syria. Rojava, or “west Kurdistan,” is the name the PYD uses to refer to northern Syria’s Kurdish areas

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article38870559.html#storylink=cpy

IWSWS:  In what increasingly seems like a policy devised by the criminally insane, Washington is now dumping tons of weapons into a civil war zone where, in all likelihood, they will fall quickly into the hands of forces like al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which the Obama administration claims to be fighting.

The US is engaged in an increasingly desperate attempt to rescue the Syrian adherents of Al Qaeda, a force which the American people have been told for the last 18 years is their most deadly threat, to be countered with endless war and sweeping attacks on democratic rights.Russia, on the other hand, wants to defeat both ISIS and the other Islamist militias like al-Nusra that are often referred to in Western government and media circles as “moderates.” Its position is that a negotiated settlement is possible only once the Assad government is secure. As Russian President Vladimir Putin put it Sunday, Russia’s military actions were designed to “stabilize the legitimate authorities and create conditions for finding a political compromise.”https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/10/13/syri-o13.html












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